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Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
An American flag is reflected in a window of the SunTrust building in downtown Augusta. Winds reached 15 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph Wednesday.


Safe Kids East Central, led by the MCG Children's Medical Center, will hold a Child Passenger Safety event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at Master Automotive, 3710 Washington Road, Martinez. Car seat checks, safety belt fit tests and interactive activities to teach children and parents about other safety issues will be offered. Here are some tips:


- Never allow a child to ride without the correct restraints. Always use safety belts, booster seats or child safety seats correctly every time you use the car. It's estimated that 75 percent of all car crashes occur within 25 miles of your home.

- Restrain children 12 and younger in the back seat. Always read the child's safety seat instruction manual and the car owner's manual for proper installation instructions, or call Safe Kids East Central at (706) 721-7606 to learn about free car seat inspections.

- Unless infants have celebrated their first birthday and weigh 20 pounds or more, they should be in rear-facing child safety seats. Children older than 1 and weighing between 20 and 40 pounds can use forward-facing child safety seats. Children ages 4 to 8 or those weighing more than 40 pounds should be placed in a car booster.

- When children are taller than 4 feet 9 inches, they may use an adult seat belt. If parents are unsure about whether their children fit the adult safety belts, they can call Safe Kids.

- Parents should remember to check every time before they back up to make sure that children are not playing in the driveway or nearby. Also, don't allow your child to play with or leave toys in the driveway.

- Teach children not to play in or around cars. A car is a machine that can be dangerous in unskilled hands. Children should also be taught where the trunk lock release is located.

- Never leave a child alone in a car. Even on mild days with a window open, temperatures inside a vehicle can spike. Children trapped inside can suffer heat-related illnesses, and even die.

Source: Rene Hopkins, Safe Kids East Central Led by the MCG Children's Medical Center



COIN CLUB MEETING: 7 p.m.; Stephen James CSRA Coin Club meeting at Cedar Creek Community Center, 2584 Club Drive, Aiken; open to public; (803) 644-0761

CONFEDERATE VETERANS MEETING: 6 p.m. optional supper, 7 p.m. meeting; Brig. Gen. Barnard E. Bee Camp No. 1575, Sons of Confederate Veterans; Bobby's Bar-B-Q Buffet & Catering, 1897 Jefferson Davis Highway; guest speaker is Hu Daughtry, the author of Confederate Tales of Chandler County, Georgia and Other Connected Counties; (803) 648-6072

WINTER JAM: 7 p.m.; James Brown Arena, 605 Seventh St.; with NewSong, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real, Britt Nicole, Tony Nolan and John Morgan; $10 at door; doors open at 6 p.m.; (706) 722-3521,

WALK AMERICA KICKOFF: 8 a.m.; Fort Discovery, 1 Seventh St.; people interested in sponsoring the walk or forming a team are invited to attend; Walk America walk, 9 a.m. May 12; Lake Olmstead Park, 78 Milledge Road; event supports the March of Dimes fight to save babies from premature birth and from other threats to infant health; (800) 525-9255

THEATER FESTIVAL: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way; keynote speech from Freda Scott Giles at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jaguar Student Activities Center Coffeehouse; general admission $5; Augusta State faculty, staff and students admitted free with valid university ID; (706) 667-4100

CAROLINA SHAG LESSONS: 6:30 p.m. beginner's class, 7:30 p.m. intermediate class, technique class 8:30 p.m. Thursdays; Knights of Columbus, 1501 Monte Sano Ave.; $45 for four weeks; (706) 868-7798


VALENTINE DANCE: 8 p.m. to midnight; The Boathouse at Augusta Riverfront Marina, 298 Prep Phillips Drive; with The Fantastic Shakers; $15 at door, students $5 with college ID; $150 to reserve a table with seating for eight; (706) 868-1663

ALWAYS PATSY CLINE: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday; Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, 720 N. Belair Road, Evans; performed by Stage III; $25; (803) 278-4849


HAT DRIVE FOR CAMP RAINBOW: 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 7-11 p.m. Feb. 16; Dudley's Dawg House Sports Bar and Grill, 4020 Washington Road; bring new sports team baseball hat with attached tag; cash donations accepted, too

HEARTWORM CLINIC: 1-3 p.m.; Brenda Sleasman Veterinary Services, 1721 Whiskey Road, Aiken; $10 per dog with proceeds benefitting American Cancer Society; (803) 648-5489

PARENTS UNITED MEETING: 11 a.m.; Diamond Lakes Library, 101 Diamond Lakes Way; held to discuss problems in Richmond County schools